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Monday, February 01, 2021

Hailed as a Trailblazer, Kim Ng Stands Alone

In a sport dominated by men — specifically, at the top, by white men — Ng symbolized the potential for change. The civil unrest of last year was bringing a reckoning on diversity to many industries around the country, and it looked as if that reckoning would include baseball.

For the rest of Major League Baseball’s off-season, Ng has stood alone. Eight people have been promoted to or hired as the permanent president of baseball operations, chief baseball officer or general manager of a club — Sandy Alderson returned to the Mets, the Chicago Cubs elevated Jed Hoyer, Dave Dombrowski took over the Philadelphia Phillies. All but one of this off-season’s hires was a white man.

Taking it back another off-season, Ng is the only woman or person of color hired for 13 openings comparable to hers….

Only four heads of club baseball operations are identified as nonwhite by M.L.B.’s diversity goals — about 13 percent of M.L.B.’s 30 teams. They are Kenny Williams, who is Black, of the Chicago White Sox; Farhan Zaidi, who is of Asian descent, of the San Francisco Giants; Al Avila, who is Latino, of the Detroit Tigers; and Ng. That is a stark contrast to the demographics on the field, where 40 percent of major-league players are identified as nonwhite by M.L.B. — the majority of whom are Latino.

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: February 01, 2021 at 09:55 AM | 23 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: diversity in baseball, kim ng

Reader Comments and Retorts

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   1. asinwreck Posted: February 01, 2021 at 01:44 PM (#6003144)
In Kevin Goldstein's first chat as a FanGraphs contributor today, someone asked him about what steps the Astros were taking to diversify the front office. His response:
I think you are discussing one of the biggest issues in the industry, and it’s a downright embarrassing one. Some teams are doing more than others to address this, and some are doing nothing at all. It’s a massive problem.
   2. The Yankee Clapper Posted: February 01, 2021 at 01:52 PM (#6003147)
That is a stark contrast to the demographics on the field, where 40 percent of major-league players are identified as nonwhite by M.L.B. — the majority of whom are Latino.
Are former MLB players the qualified applicant pool for baseball operations jobs? If not, the comparison isn’t especially meaningful.
   3. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: February 01, 2021 at 02:40 PM (#6003160)
Are former MLB players the qualified applicant pool for baseball operations jobs? If not, the comparison isn’t especially meaningful.

The front offices are increasingly staffed by Ivy League and equivalent college grads. That pool is massively skewed to whites and Asians. The Asians are heavily Chinese and Indian, who are far less likely to be baseball fans. Women are also far less likely to have their dream job be baseball exec. What re you left with? White guys.

Of course since most of the jobs the female and minority Ivy Leaguers are pursuing pay a lot better than the baseball front office jobs, I'm not sure this is a problem.
   4. Lowry Seasoning Salt Posted: February 01, 2021 at 03:18 PM (#6003165)
What re you left with? White guys.


And while not necessarily white guys, MLB itself (not the teams) often seems to only hire people from within the sport. Theo took a position recently, and MLB today announced positions for Michael Hill, Raul Ibanez, Joe Martinez, Rajai Davis, and Bo Porter. Feel free to criticize the Ivy League-type influx, but it's at least outside thinking rather than an insular been-in-MLB mindset.

Of course since most of the jobs the female and minority Ivy Leaguers are pursuing pay a lot better than the baseball front office jobs, I'm not sure this is a problem.


Well, pay isn't the only thing, and the issue at hand is diversity. If you think MLB/teams should pay extra to get that, say so, rather than your longstanding "Smart people shouldn't take less pay to be in MLB" argument when part of a well-functionaing marketplace is choice for workers. Just because it's not the choice you would make does not mean it's a bad choice.
   5. Kiko Sakata Posted: February 01, 2021 at 04:05 PM (#6003172)
Are former MLB players the qualified applicant pool for baseball operations jobs? If not, the comparison isn’t especially meaningful.


Well, if having played professional baseball isn't a requirement, then there's no good argument why men would be better qualified than women. White men only make up about one-third of the total U.S. population. That comparison makes MLB look even worse.
   6. . Posted: February 01, 2021 at 04:24 PM (#6003176)
The front offices are increasingly staffed by Ivy League and equivalent college grads. That pool is massively skewed to whites and Asians. The Asians are heavily Chinese and Indian, who are far less likely to be baseball fans. Women are also far less likely to have their dream job be baseball exec. What re you left with? White guys.


Women are far more intelligent and mature then men and therefore less likely to strive for a job that's essentially glorified frat intern.
   7. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: February 01, 2021 at 04:26 PM (#6003177)
Well, if having played professional baseball isn't a requirement, then there's no good argument why men would be better qualified than women. White men only make up about one-third of the total U.S. population. That comparison makes MLB look even worse.

Not more qualified, but more interested. Men, on average, like sports more than women. A lot of women view sports as a complete waste of time and energy. I'm not sure they're wrong.
   8. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: February 01, 2021 at 04:27 PM (#6003178)
Women are far more intelligent and mature then men and therefore less likely to strive for a job that's essentially glorified frat intern.

Well, that's just as stupid as the opposite male chauvinist opinion. Women and men are often smart and mature/immature in different ways, but neither sex is intrinsically superior or inferior.

   9. . Posted: February 01, 2021 at 04:28 PM (#6003179)
Not more qualified, but more interested. Men, on average, like sports more than women. A lot of women view sports as a complete waste of time and energy. I'm not sure they're wrong.


Not only aren't they wrong -- they're right. And see 6.

But you should know the retort to that by now snapper -- the entire culture should be turned upside down so we can get the interest in sports as between men and women to essential parity.
   10. JJ1986 Posted: February 01, 2021 at 04:31 PM (#6003180)
Not more qualified, but more interested. Men, on average, like sports more than women. A lot of women view sports as a complete waste of time and energy. I'm not sure they're wrong.
But the numbers in front offices would indicate that something like .1% of women are interested in sports, which definitely isn't true.
   11. . Posted: February 01, 2021 at 04:32 PM (#6003181)
Well, that's just as stupid as the opposite male chauvinist opinion.


No, it's entirely true. Read it again and tell me what the "stupid" parts are. Women are more mature then men. Obvious check. Women are more intelligent than men. Check.(*) I mean I guess you can quibble about how I classified these jobs, but it would just be an at-the-margin quibble. Ivy Leaguers taking over jobs that used to be properly reserved for the Dallas Greens and Jim Freys and various drunks and drinking buddies of the world is a societal step back in every serious dimension. And as if to render the entire development farce, Ivy Leaguers taking over has made the game on the field worse.

(*) Independent sources confirm, but the interest in sports factor itself is essentially res ipsa loquitur.
   12. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: February 01, 2021 at 04:33 PM (#6003183)
But the numbers in front offices would indicate that something like .1% of women are interested in sports, which definitely isn't true.

Historically, a significant career/talent in the sport (at least college ball) was a near pre-requisite. That's a 100% male pool. Has that changed?
   13. . Posted: February 01, 2021 at 04:37 PM (#6003185)
Historically, a significant career/talent in the sport (at least college ball) was a near pre-requisite. That's a 100% male pool. Has that changed?


Of course it's changed, you noted the change yourself. Ivy Leaguers and other college people now want these jobs.
   14. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: February 01, 2021 at 04:39 PM (#6003186)
No, it's entirely true. Read it again and tell me what the "stupid" parts are. Women are more mature then men. Obvious check.

Not an obvious check. It's your assertion. I see tens of millions of women emotionally invested in the love lives of the Kardashians and actresses/singers. I saw tens of millions of women get up at 4AM to weep at Princess Di's funeral. I see lots of women afraid to kill bugs. Women are just immature in different ways.

Women are more intelligent than men. Check.(*)

Again, pure assertion. Men and women probably have a different distribution of intelligence across the population. There seem to be more male geniuses, and more total morons. Doesn't make one group smarter than the other.
   15. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: February 01, 2021 at 04:39 PM (#6003188)
Of course it's changed, you noted the change yourself. Ivy Leaguers and other college people now want these jobs.

But are they all athletes? I have no idea.
   16. . Posted: February 01, 2021 at 04:49 PM (#6003191)
But are they all athletes? I have no idea.


The new Ivy Leaguers? God, no. They're almost all (no pejorative intended) "nerds."
   17. JJ1986 Posted: February 01, 2021 at 05:14 PM (#6003195)
Historically, a significant career/talent in the sport (at least college ball) was a near pre-requisite. That's a 100% male pool. Has that changed?
Yes.
   18. Baldrick Posted: February 01, 2021 at 05:55 PM (#6003203)
Figured this would be an incredibly dumb thread based on the subject matter. Glad to see it delivers! BBTF is certainly the place for the thinking fan!
   19. Starring Bradley Scotchman as RMc Posted: February 01, 2021 at 06:09 PM (#6003206)
Women are more mature then men. Obvious check. Women are more intelligent than men. Check.


I just asked my wife, and darned if these things aren't both true! (Full disclosure: My wife has a Master's Degree and I, uh, don't.)
   20. bookbook Posted: February 01, 2021 at 07:21 PM (#6003215)
Parity isn’t the goal. We don’t expect sports jobs to be 51% women, 40% Latino, etc. on the other hand, there is no way, based on the combination of merit and interest, that there are essentially zero women among the most qualified, Norse that Latino and African-American men should be so phenomenally underrepresented. No one can make that claim with a straight face, without defining pale skin and male gender as part of the merit.

We’re so damn racist and sexist in our society that sophistry can’t cover it up...
   21. the Hugh Jorgan returns Posted: February 01, 2021 at 07:27 PM (#6003216)
Women are more mature then men. Obvious check. Women are more intelligent than men


Do you think prior to posting? Where do you get this stuff from? Do you actually have a maturity meter you can test this out on? How about a gauge which clearly shows women are more intelligent then men? BTW, how do you measure intelligence?

For instance, my step-daughter, who is 15, finished first in her class in year 9 at one of the top schools in Sydney last year. Really bright kid, like Mensa level IQ.
This is the same child who can't seem to figure out how our stove works and often gets her 10 year old brother to heat up the oven for her when she wants to cook something in it.

So c'mon man, when you post inane things, at least try to be clever about it. Clever trolling is entertaining, stuff like you posted above is just boring.
   22. Howie Menckel Posted: February 01, 2021 at 07:46 PM (#6003218)
Really bright kid, like Mensa level IQ.
This is the same child who can't seem to figure out how our stove works and often gets her 10 year old brother to heat up the oven for her when she wants to cook something in it.

one of life's eternal mysteries is why so many people of average intelligence eagerly award bonus points to people who can figure out many things that they can't - but no demerits for the very same group that can't do many things that the average person can. and the latter often are much more practical for succeeding in everyday life.

there's a great Far Side cartoon depicting a kid at the door of "The Midvale School For the Gifted" that illustrates the phenomenon nicely.
   23. Mayor Blomberg Posted: February 01, 2021 at 11:39 PM (#6003263)
With all the sexual harassment reports, she's wise to stand alone. Especially if she joins the Mets.

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